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Nzimande confirms NSFAS 2021 applications will not reopen

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Blade Nzimande has confirmed that NSFAS applications for the 2021 academic year will not reopen, as the scheme has received a record number of applications since its inception.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande hosted a press conference on Monday, 18 January 2021, to discuss his department’s plans in light of the recent COVID-19 and lockdown developments. Since the Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced a delay in the reopening of schools, many have questioned whether that would be to the case with tertiary and higher learning institutions too. Moreover, there has been an interest on the implications thereof on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

During the press conference, Nzimande confirmed that there will be no extension for the NSFAS 2021 academic year applications. Nzimande explained the stance taken by the department by expressing how the applications were open for an additional four months in 2020, to make provision for the impact of the pandemic and any delays. Moreover, NSFAS previously claimed to have received a record number of applications already, noting over 750 000 applications, which is the highest number of applications in the scheme’s history.

Speaking on the matter of students that still need funding to complete the 2020 academic year, Nzimande was quoted as saying, “NSFAS students who have not yet completed their academic year will continue to get their allowance until they complete their studies. The government’s commitment is to support deserving students from working-class and poor backgrounds to receive education.”

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Sabelo Makhubo
[email protected]

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